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Female artists toast record-breaking year in the UK charts

Female artists topped the charts in 31 weeks of 2023.

By Nick Reilly

Miley Cyrus and PinkPantheress (Picture: Getty)

Female artists are celebrating a record year in the UK singles charts, spending the most weeks at number one since records began back in 1952.

Miley Cyrus scored the biggest song of the year, with her hit ‘Flowers’ scoring a staggering 198 million streams. In addition, female artists topped the charts as solo stars or as collaborators with 31 weeks of the year.

Cyrus was joined in the singles list, according to the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) by other artists including Raye, Taylor Swift, Ellie Goulding, PinkPantheress and Libianca.

You can check out the top 10 singles of 2023 below.

Miley Cyrus – Flowers
Dave & Central Cee – Sprinter
Raye ft 070 Shake – Escapism
Taylor Swift – Anti-Hero
Calvin Harris & Ellie Goulding – Miracle
Rema ft Selena Gomez – Calm Down
SZA – Kill Bill
PinkPantheress ft Ice Spice – Boy’s A Liar Pt. 2
Harry Styles – As It Was
Libianca – People

Hailing the achievement, the BPI said 2023 was a “landmark” year for women.

“This should be celebrated, but without complacency,” said Jo Twist, the organisation’s chief executive. “Our work in the music industry continues to ensure that this becomes the norm.”

But when it came to albums, a different picture emerged. As the BBC notes, new music failed to make a dent in the best-selling albums of the year.

The Weeknd’s greatest hits compilation The Highlights, released in 2021, took the top spot, while Taylor Swift’s 2022 album Midnights took the second place.

Even new records by the likes of Ed Sheeran, Olivia Rodrigo and Lewis Capaldi were all outsold by greatest hits compilations from the likes of Eminem, Elton John and Abba. The only new release in the top 10 was Taylor Swift’s 1989 (Taylor’s Version) – itself a re-recorded and repackaged version of Swift’s 2014 album.

Vinyl sales offered a more up to date chart, however. The Rolling Stones’ comeback Hackney Diamonds was among the top-sellers, alongside records from Olivia Rodrigo, Blur and Lewis Capaldi that also featured in the top 10.

And overall, 179.6 billion songs were streamed in the UK, while more than 6 million vinyl records were sold, said to be the highest total since 1990. Ten million albums were also sold on CD, and cassette sales topped 100,000 for a fourth year in a row.